When Clapham Rick stayed with us for a week
we hid our little silver knick-knacks,
those which could fall into pockets unmissed
until some days later when a lack of dust
would cough their absence from the mantelpiece.
We felt rotten – as if we’d breached his trust.
He said he’d dumped the junk and kicked the horse,
was clean as snow but for the booze, of course.
He said our farmhouse with its bird-pulled thatch
made him feel uncomfortable, spooked by bats
outside the window, the only night sound
the scrabble of house mice. He couldn’t rest
without a traffic lullaby to drown
out the darkness. It was probably best
he didn’t come to stay in January –
when vixens scream like injured babies.
Devon based poet and musician Marc Woodward’s recent collections include Hide Songs (Green Bottle 2018) and The Tin Lodes – co-written with Andy Brown (Indigo Dreams 2020). His new collection Shaking The Persimmon Tree will be published by Sea Crow Press in April 2022. Find more at: www.marcwoodwardpoetry.blogspot.com and www.facebook.com/marcwoodwardartist and @marcomando